Tuesday, July 22, 2014

10 Signs You May Be A County Lister

County listing... perhaps the most obsessive activity a birder can do.  Life lists get boring.  State lists get boring.  So why not county list?  It opens up a whole new world.  A world where European Starlings and Rock Pigeons are no longer trash.  Where you feel elated upon reaching 10 species in a county, because it means a new color on your map.

If you can relate to the following statements, odds are you're a county lister too.

1. This is your favorite page on eBird.

2. You like maps... a little too much.

Like this.

3. You view this otherwise boring drive as an opportunity.

Flyover Barn Swallows, here we come!

4.  You've used BirdLog at a rest area.  More than once.

White-throated Sparrow? Hell yes

5.  You've looked behind you while driving, just to make sure that vulture you saw wasn't a Black.

I still need you for Brunswick, you bastards.

6. While driving down the highway, you got mad at your friend for seeing a bird that you didn't see.

Sam being too happy about some bird Lucas probably did NOT see.

7.  You actually notice these signs.

8.  You think the Texas Century Club is the best idea ever.

I also thought that making this gimmicky map thing was the best idea ever.  Go figure.

9.  You've drawn county lines across a map of a refuge so you can accurately make two separate eBird lists while in the field.

This was actually a big issue for Lucas and Sam.  Feelings were hurt.  Checklists were deleted.  But this map solved the problem.

10.  People know you have a problem, but you don't care.

After all, you're probably having more fun than they are.  By the way, this was a twitch and technically not a county-listing trip, but whatever. #NOLA


  1. 2,3,4,5,6, and 10 apply to me, but I don't call myself a county later. Hmmm.

    1. Haha, it's 10 signs you *may* be a county lister :)
      No guarantees for accuracy...

  2. Great post! What did you use to make the color-coded county maps in #2?

    1. I use a mac, so I had to download "Paintbrush" from softonic.com. Its Windows counterpart is MS Paint.

  3. I would totally do 9. if eBird included our county lists (or whatever their counterparts would be in my country). I am in a city area and in some cases lines would go down the middle of a street; there would be a lot of "fly over the road! you can do it!"

    Regarding the opening paragraph, my closest eBird hotspot has 51 species, and it took six months to get it to blue (Marsh Tit family ventured inside about 10 m from the boundary; fortunately the boundary is at least well marked). You can guess - there is no way it will ever reach a hundred and move to the next color (yellow). Another very rich hotspot seems stuck at 92 species - it seems the only option will be to wait for that birdcall-recognizing software to move to everyday use.

    1. Ahhh, yes. I love Hotspot Explorer, and I've been trying to get a few spots up to the next color myself. I forgot some bird-addicts in places other than the US don't have manageably-sized jurisdictions like counties to obsess over, but hotspots would definitely fill some of the void!

    2. See a well-defined boundary between two hotspots: https://www.facebook.com/index.php?lh=aba99406adaf34bd02a07eea6188fa72&eu=CxXBwAkiu8Xy6KD86DlipA#!/photo.php?fbid=676982512394354&set=a.676982479061024.1073741837.100002478355059&type=1&theater